Before I begin writing what I want to say today, I’d like to ask you not to comment that I’m lucky with the career I have (I know) or it can still happen (it can’t) or I should be grateful, or accepting or any of those things. I am. I do.
Many people have written me to say they like my honesty. So that’s what I’m doing here. I’m being honest.
On Amazon they let you have a wish list. This is my writing life wish list.
I wish I had Ed’s productivity. Janet’s energy. Sue’s popularity. Mary’s name recognition. Dan’s money. And most of all I wish I had Laura’s career.
There was a time when it looked like I was going to have some of those things but it never happened. I believe it was because of the choices I made. And a little bad advice.
I believe I’m a good writer. Not great. But Good. And that should be enough to have some of the things I’ve enumerated. In fact we all know of bad writers who have some or all of those things. Timing and luck are a big part in this hellish game we play.
I hear about the new upcoming writers and I read them. Some are damn good. I wish I could be part of them, in their grade, their class, so to speak. But it’s no longer my time.
Twenty years ago I was in the class with a bunch of new writers. Some became household names others are like me and still others can’t get published anymore. They’ve disappeared. Some should’ve disappeared, others not.
I know the breakthrough book isn’t going to happen for me. That’s okay. I had my chance. Now, despite my wishes, which, by the way, are for the forty year old me, I don’t have any idea if I’ll publish again. Or write again. I’m inclined to think I’ll write, but that doesn’t mean I’ll be published. That’s not okay. But there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.
I hope the next book I write is good. Still, it won’t be the kind of book that’ll make me a household name or bring in loads of money. That’s okay, too. I want whatever I write to see the light of day and make back the money I was paid. At this point in my writing life that’s all that’s important.
Am I committing publishing suicide by writing this? Maybe. But I’m still naive enough to believe that if I write a good book whatever I say here won’t matter.
And one more time: I’m grateful for the career I have.